The founder and chief executive officer of the David G. Barshell School System (DAGBASS) over the weekend stressed the need for Liberian media practitioners to have respect for culture and observe the ethics of journalism while serving the country.
Mr. Ceebee C.D. Barshell was addressing a program marking the 14th Cycle graduation ceremony of the International School of Journalism in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.
Mr. Barshell said the Liberian media has many lapses that need to be addressed if dignity is to be restored to the profession.
“The Liberian media is not only fragile, but it has lost its true doctrines and values.
“I say this to mean that many journalists in the country are hungry, poor and ever prepared to abuse culture, traditions and the tenets of democracy,” Mr. Barshell said.
According to him, the act of journalists going on air or writing in the papers to malign the reputations of others is a gross breach of the media profession.
He said Liberia needs a responsible press and as such, young people coming into the profession should be contributors to the betterment of the society.
Mr. Barshell said while journalists watch and report on the ills and other issues, there are others who also watch the society without making any meaningful contribution.
“Remember that somebody is watching you as you watch and report on or about others,” Mr. Barshell added.
“Give hope to the people you serve and help build the country instead of being a partisan media practitioner.”
Barshell also admonished journalists to report on issues that will improve the livelihood of Liberians, “because the press is (instead) creating the space for chaos and calamities.”
He also admonished the graduates and all serving the country in the media arena to be patriotic while discharging their professional duties.
Speaking earlier, the president of the graduating class, Marka Davies, challenged his colleagues to be ethical, adding, “The media arena is not a hustle ground and as such those who don’t have the passion for the profession should step aside and give others who are trained and ready to do the job, the chance
to serve the country in that capacity.”
In his remarks, the school’s director, K. Moses G. Dorbor, said the institution gained international recognition, because the lessons are in line with all other first rate media courses around the world.
Dorbor also called on the graduates to be the light in darkness instead of joining what he called the “bad apples” in the journalism profession.
Eight of the 11 graduates received certificates for completing the six months training.